Skip to comments.If Republicans Want to Win, They Must Stop Talking about Capitalism
Posted on 01/18/2012 12:43:46 AM PST by neverdem
One of the simplest rhetorical truths is that the side that defines the vocabulary of a debate wins the debate. Yet, amazingly, we still see experienced conservative politicians with access to advanced polling operations and an array of advisors use the Lexicon of the Left. And this election cycle is no exception.
I could almost cringe when I hear -- as I did repeatedly during Monday's South Carolina GOP debate -- Republicans talk about "capitalism." "I believe in capitalism..." "Barack Obama doesn't believe in capitalism..." Capitalism this and capitalism that -- look at me with my plump wallet, walking stick, and tony top hat. Oh, it's not that I don't believe in free enterprise; it's that we shouldn't use words that conjure up sentiments akin to the preceding rhyme.
And polls inform that this is precisely what "capitalism" does. For example, Pew Research Center reports, "[s]lightly more than half (52%) react positively to the word 'capitalism,' compared with 37% who say they have a negative reaction." According with this is a 2009 Rasmussen poll showing that, shockingly, "only 53% of American adults believe capitalism is better..."
Some may now lament how we have allowed the left to demonize our terminology. But "capitalism" in the modern sense was never ours -- and the left didn't demonize it.
They spawned it.
In point of fact, it was originated by communism's founding fathers.
The two culprits were French socialists Louis Blanc and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. True believers both, Blanc claimed that man's evils were the result of pressures born of competition and gave us the principle "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" (Karl Marx stole it from Blanc), while the equally radical Proudhon believed that "property is theft." Of course, Marx the great imitator then popularized "capitalism."...
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
nobody cares about this issue anymore.. at least until the general election if Romney wins... it’s so last week
“Of course, the solution is simple, and we all have a part to play. The left has sought to turn economic freedom into a dirty concept; we must turn “capitalism” into a dirty word.
Don’t say it.
Don’t write it.
Don’t use it.
If we want economic freedom to live, “capitalism” must die.”
Lately, I’ve been concerned about the AT’s “thinkers.”
One can illuminate what capitalism is without treating it as a foul word. If I had to give an illuminated meaning it would be something like: it’s the freedom to invest one’s own wealth into any lawful thing in order to earn more wealth, and it is a freedom that has doors for entry of not just the Monopoly-game tycoons, but the lowliest enterprising soul.
Capitalism and balanced budgets are not relevant when you know you can print money. That is straight from the mouth of the reverend al sharpton. And he speaks for many.
The economy is not the issue to hammer home, the big issue is the sell out by everyone to the foreign money that has bought out congress, state governments and most of the inside the beltway crowd.
Sharia should be outlawed and should be the hot topic. Unfortunately, the republicans have been boxed into a corner and allowed discussion of real issues to be outlawed as hate speech.
I disagree. The article makes an airtight point. Why are we married to a word that was originated by communists?
I should also mention that pollster Frank Luntz has made the same point as this author. He has stated that using the word capitalism is a losing proposition for Republicans. The polls are very clear. And some are presented in this article.
And so what. Who remembers that history, and why is capital a bad word? Almost anybody can have capital in something, if only their own skills and time. For the few unfortunates truly limited by circumstance there is charity — for everybody else, capitalism.
Again, the polls say that the word (not so much the SYSTEM) turns people off. Why are Republicans so numb to the truths of marketing? And it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the word does turn people off. Communists invented it for that very reason.
By the way, a pile of excrement will smell up your place even if no one remembers when it was deposited.
the word should be free market, free to choice where to spend/invest your money without controls like tax/regulations aka red tapes. Its a civil right issue. You’re not really free if someone else could force you to give up your property rights
Me too. They act as though capitalism is a dirty word. It isn’t.
The problem is that you can have a crony capitalism which enables people to make a lot of money by propping up failure.
*Stop attacking each other - The enemy is 0bama, attack him, his policies and tell us what YOU WILL DO to fix America.
*Fire all the marketing people. Who's idea was it for a “You're fired” ringtone? Stupid and petty - well beneath an honorable candidate.
*Stop playing to the Liberals by avoiding words that the Liberals have made ‘offensive’ like Capitalism, Work, Profit and Personal Responsibility.
*Stop chasing polls. This is the world of instant news. You can't say one thing in IA, another in NH and a third in SC just because some hired ‘professional’ says that should be your position. State your policies and convictions and stick with them. I'm no supporter of Ron Paul but I do admire the man's ability to say what he believes and to stick with it.
*If a candidate is attacked they should hold a press conference, address the accusation, present their evidence to the contrary and move along. This attacking one another and hiding behind so called super PACs is Super BS. It shows how little character a candidate has.
Just whaadya think the Dhimmocrats will be screaming at us for the next 10 1/2 months???
Maybe, just MAYBE, we can explain to our govt-educated population what the word actuallly MEANS.
But you don’t have to leave unaddressed the communist lie that only the filthy rich can have “capital.” It used to be understood that the lemonade stand kid had “capital” too.
It’s like Methodists rebuffed their critics by keeping the name which was supposed by their lukewarm foes to mock their pious habits.
This is where the fine points come in of what is a lawful thing to invest in. Free enterprise’s decent bounds surely stop short of buying your Congressman, President, or Court. How to stop the mass trough-feed is another question. The first to propose it will be hooted down as a hypocrite.
Exactly!! And, responsibility for yourself and for your family is also becoming an objectionable concept.
Check this out, from by brother:
We stopped defending capitalism when we allowed the word “rich” to become a pejorative.
Do not allow the left to form the language. They are too good at it.
I prefer to refer to “individual freedom”, since that is what capitalism really means. I am a strong advocate of the real capitalism that allows small businesses to grow and thrive, not the crony capitalism that the Dem party uses to control big business and to funnel tax dollars to their favorite donors, and not the pure laissez-faire capitalism in which there are no government regulations on business. I want government there just enough to prevent sleaze and deception but not actually picking winners and losers in the marketplace. To me, capitalism is one of the most beautiful concepts in human history, since it is a key to individual freedom, but I don’t use the word “capitalism” in most political discussions. I am pragmatic enough that I prefer to sell skeptics on the concept separately from selling them on candidates who will protect individual freedom.
And the freedom of Bain Capital to invest in companies, receive dividends, make a profit, sometimes succeed, and sometimes fail. And the freedom of lenders to loan money (or not) to Bain investments and not whine about what Bain does with the money if it's allowed under the terms of their loans.
Let Team Soetoro '12 make this a dispicable activity.
Throw down Hayek’s ‘Constitution of Liberty’ like Thatcher! That’s what we believe!
We shouldn’t cowering from a term like the ‘Progressives’ shed the label ‘Communists’.
The ‘Progressives’ shed the label ‘Communists’. Marcy Kaptur, D-OH says we need ‘state controlled capitalism’. The Pavolian response to capitalism is negative thanks to the left’s ‘10 minutes of hate’ conditioning.
Are the American voters capable of being educated about freedom? I don’t think so.
Throw down Hayek’s ‘Constitution of Liberty’ like Thatcher! That’s what we believe!
I agree, they would have more success talking about private property rights. No one wants their assets taken away.
Free enterprise would be a suitable replacement term.
This has nothing to do with that communist lie. It has to do with not falling victim to communist manipulation. I’ll try this one more time.
“Capitalism” was invented for the EXACT PURPOSE of making economic freedom sound bad. And it’s working. People do not react all that negatively to “free markets” or “economic freedom.” They react very badly to “capitalism.”
Also understand that we had free enterprise in the early 1800s. But no one called it capitalism until the commies invented the word a bit later.
Have you listened to Frank Luntz talk about this? Did you read the article? The communists INVENTED the word. It was never used by conservatives to refer to free markets before that time.
Yes, but none of these nimrods get it. Heck, maybe the left is right. Maybe conservatives are stupid.
Are you really a capitalist? You have so much capital that you can spend it in slave labor factories in China and then move it to Burma because their slave labor is even cheaper?
Do you abstain from restricting your capital to your own country by tying it up in land or resources here?
International bankers are capitalists, but if your money is tied up in home ownership and and the fed corrupted American stock market, you’re NOT a capitalist.
From the web site: Adam Smith’s Lost Legacy:
The word Capitalism and its related term Capitalist, were not first derived in the English vernacular from a translation of the pejorative term used by Karl Marx (though he certainly used them pejoratively in his writings).
Capitalism was a word and a phenomenon neither used by, nor known to, Adam Smith. Capitalism was a wholly late 19th-century experience. The Oxford English Dictionary (Vol II, p 863) locates its first usage in English in 1854 by William Makepeace Thackeray in his novel, The Newcomes.
Karl Marx published, in German, Das Kapital, in 1867 and subsequent translations introduced the word capitalism to his readers some years later (Moscow’s ‘Marxist’ editors during the Soviet era interpolated the new word of capitalism into his works as if Marx himself had written it).
While Marx may have read Thackeray, it is unlikely that Thackeray read Marx in time to include the word, capitalism, thirteen years earlier in his novel.
Of the word capitalist, this was first used in English in 1792, by Arthur Young (Travels in France) and it was used by Turgot (in French) in his Reflections on the Formation and the Distribution of Riches LXIII-IV, 1770.
Again, read the article. The author points out that the first ones to use “capitalism” in the MODERN SENSE were communists. When Thackeray and one or two others used it previously, it meant something totally different.
And how does Webster’s describe free enterprise?
This country was founded on the concept of free enterprise. It is very different than capitalism.
Free enterprise is individual freedom.
Capitalism is the one side of the Hegelian dialectic. Communism is the other.
You see that capitalism and communism work very well together- chinese communists are also capitalists.
But free enterprise doesn’t support communism. With free enterprise communism would be dead.
However that is why the capitalists oppose free enterprise and why they have tried to erase it from the national culture and memory in America. They profit very nicely from the slave laborers in communist countries.
Communism is just another form of Capitalism, where the State is has the monopoly on Capital.
It is called rehoritic and it is important to understand.
Republicans should talk about property rights and building “American based” businesses. Small, mom and pop business.
Corporate advocacy is deadly because Corporations have abused the US and are seen as internationalists/foreigners and elitists/fascists. (The banksters bail out, home loan scam, SOPA, export of jobs to foreign lands, open borders, limo liberal social agenda and anti-Americanism.) Corporation elitist abuse is associated with the word “capitalism.” Capitalism is defined in the public’s mind as elitist and unethical/ abusive/scamming/treasonous/abusive corporatism.
Don’t talk about deregulating banksters! It’s too complicated and it has been abused by banks and politicans deals in crashing the real estate market. Americans generally want banksters in jail for the real estate loan scam and want out from under the real estate losses of their loan scam.
Talk about Obama having his administration filled with croney corporatists and Golden Sacks banksters looking for a US Treasury shake down and special favors. Talk about Obama shipping stimilus money and jobs over to foreign countries for his corporatist pals.
Like it or not, this is the state of words and public impressions right now in the mainstream of the public as the economic crash has settled out. It plays a big part in winning elections. The argument for free markets can be had in either the realm of American small business advocacy or in the real of international corporations. Stiff arm advocating for the internationalists - corporations. The CEO’s screwed the pooch with their expressed insults of American workers, our constitutional Republic and their aggressive immorality. Their public representatives are seen as unethical - dishonest and suffering from a superiority complex. They are unpopular having too high opinion of their brilliant/wealthy limo-socialist selves. They are seen as fascists.
Self interest, hate and disrespect is a two way street with the big egos globe trotting Corporate elite. Corporations interacting with Americans today are political idiots and the GOP should hang them around the necks of Obama and the DNC - whom the CEO’s have supported.
This does not mean Republicans have to harm Corporations when in power. But being associated with loud mouth liberal elitists who think they are superior to everyone and who call themselves “capiatalists” is never a good idea.
“And the freedom of Bain Capital to invest in companies, receive dividends, make a profit, sometimes succeed, and sometimes fail.”
There was no “sometimes fail”. When Bain purchased Worldwide Grinding Systems for $8 million they borrowed $12 million against the company, recouping their investment plus a healthy profit. Bain continued to receive dividends and management fees until the company failed.
So don’t worry, Bain didn’t lose a cent and it’s all legal. The sole whiners are the former employees of the steel firm, who had their retirement pay reduced by $400 a month.
“Dont talk about deregulating banksters! Its too complicated and it has been abused by banks and politicans deals in crashing the real estate market.”
Banks, investment banks as opposed to commercial banks, got the deregulation they wanted during the Clinton administration. They wanted Glass-Steagall gone and so it was, with Republican support in Gramm-Leach-Bliley and the CFMA 2000.
To me it’s no surprise that less than 10 years later the economy was plunged into a major crisis with investment banks right in the middle of it. Glass Steagall was passed because of hard lessons the Depression Congresses learned. That was all un-learned by the geniuses who dismantled all of the walls separating Wall Street from Main Street.
This is beyond sad. This is downright ugly. It won't be long now.
You are soooo right. The last think the Republicans want to do is justify any of this failure and stupidity.
“its the freedom to invest ones own wealth into any lawful thing in order to earn more wealth, and it is a freedom that has doors for entry of not just the Monopoly-game tycoons, but the lowliest enterprising soul.”
That is beautifully stated! Thank you so much!
“Why are we married to a word that was originated by communists?”
Frank Luntz is not the be all and end all. It may be a losing proposition at this point because the word has been beaten to death by both sides. However, I don’t believe that the word was originated by communists.
The only reference I have on hand right now is Wiki. But, you have to admit...if Wiki doesn’t say that the word was originated by communists, then it probably didn’t. If there was any inkling that it did, they would put it front and center.
And, who are you? Given your posts, one would think you are anti-capitalist.
Either that, or you are paranoid.
“They act as though capitalism is a dirty word. It isnt.”
Tell Paladins Prayer that. He/she disagrees.
“Land of The Freebies, Home of the Enslaved”
What a great video!
Your brother made that? He’s a SMARTY, too!
What the heck are you talking about? And, why are you attacking me?
“Talk about Obama having his administration filled with croney corporatists and Golden Sacks banksters looking for a US Treasury shake down and special favors. Talk about Obama shipping stimilus money and jobs over to foreign countries for his corporatist pals.”
I totally agree with that, but I don’t think that the word “capitalism” should be made to be considered “dirty”.
No-he didn’t make it. But he sent it to me. I don’t know where he got it.
Here is a source if you’re interested: http://resurgence.opendemocracy.net/index.php/Capitalism
The source writes, “In 1850, Louis Blanc defined capitalism as “the appropriation of capital by some to the exclusion of others.” Proudhon later defined it as an “Economic and social regime in which capital, the source of income, does not generally belong to those who make it work through their labour.”
Perhaps we ought to keep in mind that free markets existed before the stupid word “capitalism” was applied to them, but obviously we were happy not calling them that.
We also should keep in mind that Adam Smith never used the word capitalism. It was unknown to him.
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